Friday, October 7, 2016

Another long absence, but it's due to a lack of anything interesting to say

Things are going pretty well these days.  I mean, life isn't without challenges, and after a cancer diagnosis like I got at this time last year, things will never be exactly the same.  But, right this minute, I can't complain.

I was doing some PT to help with swelling and pain after my last surgery.  Early on, I seemed to find some benefit, but as time wore on, the sessions seemed to hurt more and provide less benefit.  The therapist was doing lots of dry needling in scar tissue, and I was finding myself taking pain medication just to get through PT.  In my last session, she hit something with a needle that had me almost jump off the table.  So, we weren't really making much progress, and my primary reason for being there was to fix the muscle imbalance caused by the removal of most of my right psoas major muscle in March.  My sprinting, deadlifts and back squats are all going well right now, and all 3 require hip extension that activates the psoas.  So, I'm going to call it a success and move on.

Another reason that I'm stopping the PT is that I need time for some other medical help.  After 2 cancers for me (3 surgeries, 4 inpatient chemo sessions) and 1 cancer for my wife (2 surgeries, a 3rd unrelated surgery, and a month of radiation), I am a mess at times, at least from an emotional perspective.  I'm mad at times.  I'm sad at times.  I'm dealing with pain on a daily basis that will likely never go away.  The local teaching hospital has therapists within their cancer center.  These are people who only work with cancer patients and their families.  So, after thinking this over for a while, and talking with my wife, we decided it might be a good idea for me to talk to a professional about all of what I've been through, and what may still lie ahead.  Unlike a certain orange presidential candidate, I'm willing to admit that I need help, and I refuse to consider myself weak for needing that help.  So, I'm taking the step.  My first session this week was challenging.  A lot came to head - a lot that I didn't even realize I was simply holding in and holding onto, and just one hour had me feeling better.  I go back next week.

I still have another CT scan before ski season starts, but unless the cancer is back next month, I'm planning to teach skiing all winter this year.  The timing was a bit tough from an equipment perspective, but I took the risk and bought new skis and bindings this week.  The skis I wanted, the Nordica Enforcer 93s, have gotten such great press that I knew if I waited until after my scan, they would be sold out at the professional pricing level.  So, I bought them now.  Even in a worst case scenario, I should be able to sell them unused to a fellow ski instructor here in VT.

Unlike last year at this time, when I was recovering from a big time abdominal surgery, I am in a much better place this year and I was able to take my annual September fly fishing trip.  If anyone cares about that, the link to my fishing blog is in the sidebar.

Work is busy, but our company continues to just hold on.  I'm not a business development person, but the closest we are to a new contract right now is work that I've been doing with a company in Philadelphia.  This all started when they wanted to sell me some development tools, but over time, their company goals changed, and we are really better suited to collaborate on projects.  So, we are trying to introduce each other to our current customers and find ways to work together.  If we don't have a new contract or two pretty soon, it's easy to imagine us not making it more than 6 more months, at best.  Hopefully, it won't come to that, but we will see.

And, training continues to go OK.  I have pretty much officially regained the weight I lost last year while sick, even the part I didn't want to come back.  But, as I mentioned before, my workouts are going well, so I'm OK with things as they are.

I have gotten back to 375 pounds for the deadlift, vs. a best of 440 before I got sick.  My back squat is up to 295 (for a double) and I'm sure I'll do a single at 315 this coming Monday.  My Tuesday night aerobic capacity class is going well, and I'm really enjoying the days we do sprint work rather than baseline cardio work.

If I pull off my goal of 45 miles at the Ghost Train ultra in 2 weeks, this class will have been a major reason why.  My longest training day is only 8.5 miles or so, and I'm planning to walk 45 miles over a 30 hour period.  I even bought new running shoes - Altra Provisions.  I had never used Altra shoes before, but I know they are very popular in the ultra world right now, and so far, I love them.

See - not much of note.  I'm working, working out, fishing, thinking about skiing, dealing with the side effects of cancer, and just trying to get by.  If I was a praying man, I would also be praying that we don't end up with an orange jackass for President, but I'm going to have to trust the voters to do the right thing there.  I have to admit, and this is somewhat maudlin, that I've been wondering if this will be my last time voting for POTUS.  I will be in NYC on election day (second time in a row), so I need to vote early.  We have too many important state and local races to even consider sitting this one out.

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